Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sugasm 103 and the US Constitution Erotic Coloring Book

So I submitted my post on abstinence-only sex ed to this week's Sugasm - glad to be able to contribute something practical and constructive to that excellent sex-positive forum. I also got a kick out of the US Constitution Erotic Coloring Book - see below.

Check out Sugasm 103 - highlights below.

This Week’s Picks

The Man From Del Monte Says…Yes, Yes, Oh God! YESSS!

Traveling the road, Sharing a load, Side by side

Mr. Sugasm Himself
The US Constitution Erotic Coloring Book

Editor’s Choice
Dinner Date: Part 1

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Senator Cardin Supports Fact-Based Sex Ed

Last week I posted here urging everyone to register their support for cutting federal funding of abstinence-only sex ed programs. I did so myself, and the following is what I received today from Maryland Senator Ben Cardin - I've always thought well of him, and now I think even more of him.

Senator Cardin (or more likely an aide) wrote:

Dear Ms. Wagner:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about federal funding for abstinence-only sexual education. I too am concerned with the inefficacy of abstinence-only programs, and have long supported a more balanced approach to sexual education that promotes scientifically accurate information about contraception, abstinence, and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

As a provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress mandated a federal evaluation of the Title V Abstinence-Only Education block grant program. The study, which was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., found that youth in abstinence-only programs were no more likely than control group youth to remain abstinent . Meanwhile, numerous studies have affirmed the effectiveness of a broad-based and balanced sexual education that teaches about the proper and responsible use of contraception as well as abstinence.

Yet, as in past years, President Bush's proposed FY 2008 budget would significantly increase funding for abstinence-only education to $191 million. I will urge my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services to spend our taxpayer dollars on more useful and science-based sexual education programs. Please be assured that I will also continue to fight against the encroachment of politics into policy decisions that should be based on the best available science.

I appreciate your letting me know of your interest in this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of importance to you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Having Your Kate and Edith, Too (plus your Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and ...)

...is it normal for me to both want to seek loving relationships, and at the same time also desire more casual things? Is this taking "slut"hood to an extreme? Am i just a ho?
(Asked in an e-mail list discussion this week by a woman who lamented the struggle to reconcile her sexuality with societal norms.)

Ah the challenges of being a whole sexual being in a sex-negative culture! The answers depend on how you define normal. Normal doesn't always equal healthy, as it does not in this instance. As practices go, it is not especially normal in our society to act on the desire to have both committed sexually intimate relationships as well as more casual sexual encounters, because for centuries we've been taught (or more accurately, manipulated into believing) that sexual freedom is wrong, bad, sinful, unhealthy, etc., ESPECIALLY for women.

According to cultural anthropologists and biologists it is exceedingly normal for humans to pair bond non-exclusively. As humans evolved, non-exclusive pair bonding became ingrained deep in our DNA, a compulsion that historically supported the conceiving and raising of children at least until they are weaned. That's the pair-bonding part. As to the non-exclusively part, we are also compelled behaviorally from time-to-time to have other lovers. All of this is nature's way of better enhancing the likelihood of the survival of the species, i.e. by both pair bonding for the raising of children, but not so exclusively that we pass up opportunities to share our reproductive resources with others as well.

If you'd like to learn more about this, read the works of anthropologist Helen Fisher.

So, that's all well and good, but how do we reconcile our desires with the sex-negative culture in which we are all so thoroughly marinated? With polyamory still in the very early stages of becoming known in the mainstream, this is a challenge that practically all people new to polyamory face. The only one who can decide what works individually are the individuals who are affected. I personally don't think this woman has anything to be ashamed of so long as she always acts as lovingly and honestly as she can with her relationship partner(s) and herself. People who embrace their sexuality are to be admired, not criticized and villified. Bravo to her for being true to who she is and doing her best to live her life with authenticity.

And by the way, she is not at all unique in her desire for both multiple committed romantic relationships and lighter sexual ones. There are plenty of poly/swinger hybrids like her out there. A friend of mine calls them swollies. And with all due respect to my beloved poly community, I must say that when it comes to being whole, sex-positive women, few women embrace their sexuality as fully as do women in the swing community.

Bottom line - it's all good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Abstinence Only Sex Ed On the Ropes?

I have strongly opposed abstinence-only sex education ("AOSE") ever since the concept was introduced over ten years ago and the federal government began provided funding for it. Over the time this program has existed, it has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective, thereby abandoning young people by leaving them on their own to learn how to protect their sexual health and prevent pregnancy. Sadly, without the facts many mistakes are made, some with life-altering results, or worse.

AOSE is also a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars and clearly panders to religious conservatives who continue to insist that they have a right to dictate what the American people do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Right now you have a very valuable opportunity to express your support for significant funding cuts to this irresponsible, ill-conceived program, cuts now under consideration in the US House and Senate.

In just a couple of minutes you can send an e-mail to your senator and representative expressing your support for these funding cuts by going here. Advocates for Youth makes it easy for you - all you have to do is supply your address, and they look up your congressional representatives for you and address form email to them that you can edit as desired.

More details about what's happening here in Washington on this subject below - thanks for making your voice heard!

October 2007



Yesterday, conservative Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) withdrew his amendment to increase funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and the Senate finally approved its fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill. The approved bill calls for a $28 million cut in the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program. Once again common sense has prevailed. But our work isn't over!!

Senate supporters are working hard to keep the CUT in the final bill. But they need your support!

Three months ago the House of Representatives approved a $28 million INCREASE for the CBAE program, even though a 10-year evaluation revealed that abstinence-only programs don't work. (Click here to read more.)

Now, the House and Senate have to agree on a final bill. Negotiations are moving quickly. The final bill could be voted out and on the President's desk by November 1st. Take action today!

Young people deserve accurate and complete information to help them make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

Please tell your representative: It's time for a change -- Support the Senate's abstinence-only-until-marriage $28 million cut!

Sonya Clay
Domestic Policy Director
Advocates for Youth

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sugasm #101

I'm in Sugasm again under the heading of Sex News & Reviews for my review of Poly Pride in New York City.

The following is just a sampling of the blogs Sugasm has recognized this week - follow the link for "More Sugasm" below to see it all, in addition to the picks included below.

This Week’s Picks
“As he brings me there, his hands and mouth on me are rougher and rougher.”

Romeo and Juliet: A Different Perspective
“Catherine!” Elizabeth gasped between her thighs. “You are like heaven’s own scent.”

Summer of Content
“Under the cover of my long skirt, my legs are spread for him, and I’m dripping over his fingers.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself
How to Hide Your Porn

Editor’s Choice

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm
See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Polyamorous" as Metaphor

"Motorola’s polyamorous relationship with most members of the mobile software ecosystem is pretty confusing. It’s got its recently-renamed Motomagx Linux…."

This is not the first time I've noticed the word "polyamorous" being used as metaphor or analogy in news and reviews. I imagine that the writer is familiar enough with the term to use it in hopes of also sending a message that they are hip to the latest social trends. Since the linked article came from a tech-focused website, it's probably not a surprise with so many polyfolk being employed in that sector.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Family Law Academic Acknowledges Significant Difference Between Religious Polygamy and Polyamory as Regards Public Policy

Canadian Law Professor Lorraine E. Weinrib's column, Second Opinion, published today online at LawTimesNews.com includes the following statement, the first of its kind I've seen that recognizes the legitimacy of the interests of polyamorists in public discourse and debate over marriage rights as they apply to same-sex marriage, religious polygamy, and the slippery slope to polyamory as defined by Stanley Kurtz.

In forging public policy, it is important to distinguish between polygamous marriage within authoritarian religious communities and polyamorous relationships. The latter do not necessarily pose harm. They presumably involve mature, informed, and consenting adults, who have access to reproductive health information and health-care services, full exit rights, and access to enforcement of the relevant legal entitlements and protection.

It is heartening to now see that family law academics are publicly and knowledgeably identifying the significant differences in the context of public policy between the non-egalitarian ways of religious polygamy and the egalitarian ways of polyamory. These differences matter significantly in human rights terms.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Loving More Event November 3, 2007

Now that the LovingMore organization has become a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit, it is expanding its horizons and broadening its appeal. One way it is doing so is by hosting one day hotel-based seminars called "Loving More Loving Choices" that focus more exclusively on the practicalities of forming and conducting polyamorous relationships.

The next Loving More Loving Choices seminar takes place at the Clarion San Francisco Airport on Saturday, November 3, 2007. It's a great opportunity for those who:

* Can't spare an entire weekend to attend a retreat;

* Can't afford the price of attending an entire weekend retreat;

* Are mainstreamers who aren't interested in nudism, swinging, BDSM, tantra, etc.

* Are new to polyamory and find the idea of attending an entire weekend retreat overwhelming.

LovingMore intends to hold these one day seminars all over the country, so don't forget to check back with their website - they're planning to schedule at least one of them on the east coast in 2008.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Poly Pride NYC was Fabulous!

I had a truly wonderful time in NYC this weekend. I was invited to speak as a polyamory activist at Polyamorous NYC's annual Poly Pride Celebration on the great hill in Central Park. What a tremendous day - great weather and even greater friends. I estimate that about 150 people attended and enjoyed the entertainment and speakers.

I call the subject of my address, "The Polytics of Polyamory". You can read my remarks here.

Many thanks to Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski for the super massive cuddle party Friday night. What a playful, loving, vibrant bunch of people there were getting their cuddle on, and Reid and Marcia really know how to set the tone.

Birgitte Philippides is the organizer of this event, and the NY poly community is fortunate indeed to have her in its midsts. Her hard work and dedication paid off big time. I was her guest for the event, which offered me an opportunity to get to know more people than perhaps I would have otherwise, including .....

The Wet Spots, a/k/a John Woods and Cass King. They were the featured entertainment at the poly pride after party held Saturday night at the NYC LGBT Community Center, conveniently located right in Birgitte's west village neighborhood. They certainly surpassed my expectations. I had a front row seat for the performance, which offered an opportunity to catch every nuance of facial expression, which is vast, especially as Cass goes. She is a delightfully bawdy singer and comedienne, with her husband, John, a very fine musician and singer, sometimes playing the, er, straight man (so to speak). If you get a chance to see them perform, DO NOT miss them. They are cleverly hysterical.

I bought both their CDs and their DVD. Now their kinky, naughty little ditties are constantly running through my head, especially the one Cass belts out as well as anyone called "Booty Call" and the fun sing-along "Smack My Bottom."

And of course, just about everyone in the sex-positive community has seen the hilarious video of their song "Do You Take It". And with the holidays approaching, be sure not to miss the very special video of their holiday song which is sure to become a classic, Fist Me This Christmas (snicker.... Got that, baby???)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Poly Pride in NYC this Weekend!

I'm really looking forward to once again attending Poly Pride activities in NYC this weekend. The weather is predicted to be sunny and 80 degrees - perfect! There will be lots of friends to get together with and catch up. I'll have the honor of addressing those present on poly activism topics as well. They're brave folks indeed for giving me mic time! (Smile)

Many thanks to Justen Michael, Birgitte Philippides and the rest of the organizers for all their hard work. They've lined up a huge cuddle party Friday night and a great party on Saturday night, along with the main event, the Poly Pride Rally in Central park Saturday afternoon. Several of us who are poly activists will be pimping for LovingMore while there, including LovingMore executive director Robyn Trask.

I'm especially looking forward to seeing the Wet Spots perform - their witty and very adult compositions are not to be missed. I'm also looking forward to hearing Australian singer and poly-themed songwriter Penelope Swales whose local DC area performance for Chesapeake Polyamory Network I missed this last weekend - how great that I get a second chance!

Here's the lineup of speakers and entertainers - hope to see you there! It's going to be an experience like no other in terms of meeting cool polyfolk. And if you do attend, please introduce yourself and say hello.


Robyn Trask, from Loving More Magazine
Nan Wise (Poly Expert and Poly psychotherapist)
REiD Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski (Sex Educators/Relationship coaches, founders of Cuddleparty)
Ken Haslam, from the Kinsey Institue
Stephanie Sellars (NY Press sex columnist)
Diana Adams, Esq., Polyamory lawyer
Anita Wagner (Polyamory/Sexual Freedom Activist)
Barbara Foster, Letha Hadady, and Mike Foster (authors of Three In Love)
Julio Cortes


Hedda Lettuce, Drag Comedienne
The Black and White Cookies, acoustic duo
The Wet Spots
Sean Graham, Comedian
Stephanie Sellars
Robin Renee and Jasmine
Shawna Hamic
Penelope Swales(polyamorous singer/songwriter from Australia)